So, I've been messing with my new Tikka T3x Superlite 6.5 creed

bsa1917hunter

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Hey guys. I just wanted to share my experience with you on my new Tikka. First off, the build quality is exceptional. I've been enjoying the heck out of it, since I bought it last weekend. It's an excellent rifle for the price point. It easily shoots sub moa 3 shot groups, but as some of you know about me, I don't shoot too many 3 shot groups. Not that I expect benchrest accuracy out of any lightweight hunting rifle, but I strive for ultimate accuracy from all of my rifles (really old and new alike). This is not a budget rifle build, but more a search for accuracy and I'm sharing my experience. Hopefully you guys get a kick out of it. I'm going to be posting some 10 shot groups from this new rifle and I'll show you where I established a baseline for this rifle. This is the first of a few 10 shot groups. I like the 2 10 shot groups side by side routine we do at 24 hour campfire in our "moa all day long" challenge, so you'll see these targets posted a few times. However, I'm going to start from the beginning and show you my first shot (bore sight) and the initial dialing in of the scope. I only use 3 shot groups for that. Generally I get it close and then start on load development:
WP3BehS.jpg
Like I said, pretty much sub moa, except for the upper left target. Scope (Zeiss 3-9x42) seemed to track well for the initial dialing in.

After that, I move on to my 10 shot groups:
0WIbipZ.jpg
It was extremely windy that day, so I did not shoot much. I also had my buddy Troy with me and it was getting late. So we called it a day.

When I got home, I was examining the rifle with a fine tooth comb and realized the barrel was not freefloated all the way to the recoil lug, like I like. It was only freefloated about half way down the barrel channel and then out to the tip of the forend. I did a little research and saw where guys said it helped to freefloat the tikka's all the way, so I figured I'd try it and see. I then shot some 10 shot groups with it yesterday. Weather was not cooperating at all. It was windy and rainy. Here are the results of the freefloat test:
AXCxTIO.jpg
I wrote on the target, "no difference in group size", but there may have been a little change for the better. Keep in mind, I'm using the load I developed for my Savage 12fv too. Before going to the range that day, I load up some bullets that are .020" off the lands and try them as well. Here are the results:
3WzyfkT.jpg
Note how it says "last 13 shots" on the target on the left. I loaded up 20 rounds with an OAL of 2.915" for the Tikka, I had 3 shots left of the other loads, so I figure what the heck and fire those into the group with the others. Of course, those 3 are the ones on the right of the big 10 shot hole. No worries, this is just a test to find better accuracy and I think this proves the rifle is responding well to subtle changes in the load and the barrels harmonics are slightly changed by the freefloat. We are walking in the right direction, I believe. I am noticing some slight vertical stringing in the group on the right hand side and decide it needs to be glass bedded. I do that last night and finish it up this morning. Here are the results of todays outing with the barreled action glass bedded in the stock:
DKEH7Yt.jpg
This is the load my Savage 12fv likes, as I did not have time to load anymore up at the optimum OAL. So I had to live with using my other rifles load for one more day. I personally see an improvement, even if it is ever so slight, it's encroaching on that MOA mark ever so slightly with each mod I do. In case you are wondering what I meant by shot 6 slipped, here's where I was shooting. There was a sheet of ice under my feet:
C0aNn16.jpg

Now on to working up a load for this ol girl. I think she's worthy... Oh, by the way, this is what the first 4 shots looked like in the target above:
RlC7z3M.jpg
 
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bsa1917hunter

bsa1917hunter

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I also loaded up some other loads to try yesterday, but forgot them at home. As windy and rainy as it was, I don't think I would have even tried them anyway, but here are the results of those loads with Big Game powder. I loaded them up before I decided I'd mess with the seater and load them at the optimum OAL (2.915" or .020" off the lands for the Tikka), so these are jumping to the lands by .095":

ZGKM8Yu.jpg
CFjlueI.jpg
Next time out, I'll use some loaded to 2.915" oal and I'll bet the accuracy will be better.
 
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bsa1917hunter

bsa1917hunter

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Thanks pharm. I like my 7mm08 too, but that is a model 70 featherweight. Excellent cartridge for sure. I just got back from the range about an hour ago. I love the Tikka. Its showing excellent progress, did some testing with your favorite Big Game powder. After freefloating and glass bedding, it is shooting more consistently. Hovers around moa now. I think the light weight shows some of my flaws as a shooter. My heavier savage seems more effortless to shoot accurately. Definitely not any flies on the Tikka though.
 
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bsa1917hunter

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As for H4350, WHO has not tried it in their 6.5 Creed? My savage loves the stuff. This is from today:
WlZUxii.jpg

That savage is a dang good rifle. I don't expect my Tikka to even keep up with it in terms of accuracy. It's just not going to happen. They are 2 different animals. My intention is to try a different powder in the Tikka. The targets from my first posts are with H4350 powder. The Tikka is showing some good promise with Big Game powder:
38Qfan5.jpg
JW2mxps.jpg

These are all 10 shot groups^^^^ I didn't get a chance to test out some other loads I had with H4350, maybe tomorrow.... Today was a beautiful day at the range and I got to meet MikeJ (from here) today, which was a great experience. :cool:
 
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erslll

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Well, kind of a rhetorical question but I am curious what powders you have tried. ;)



Edit: Ok, from what I know of you and your process, I figured you would have tried H4350 but was surprised you hadn't mentioned what powder you were using in the first tests. Maybe you did and I just didn't see it.
 
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bsa1917hunter

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Well, kind of a rhetorical question but I am curious what powders you have tried. ;)



Edit: Ok, from what I know of you and your process, I figured you would have tried H4350 but was surprised you hadn't mentioned what powder you were using in the first tests. Maybe you did and I just didn't see it.
No problem my friend. Generally I have the info on the target pics, but maybe I didn't this time. I really like H4350, It's a great powder in the 6.5 and most everything else I load for. I needed to get back home today, or I would have tried more loads with H4350. I had some loaded at 1/2 grain intervals and was hoping to find a good node. With the ELDM, I usually run them off the lands by about .020" in my savage, but upon recent checks, I found I was more than that from the lands. Maybe I've worn the barrel in a bit on the Savage now. I am approaching 1000 rounds with that rifle now and I've only had it since around September, or have been shooting it since around that time, since the national forests were shut down back then. I am loading for both of my 6.5 creedmoor rifles, using the same sizing die and adjusted it to the tighter chamber, which is the Tikka. The optimal OAL for the Tikka would be 2.915" (.020" off the lands), but that would be too long for my Savage 12FV. The lands on the Savage are at 2.865", so I figured I'd load them both to 2.850" OAL. I like keeping things simple and developing loads that work well in all of my rifles. I know a lot of guys don't do this, but it's pretty much the norm for me. It seems pointless to have to sort your ammo for each rifle. Here's an example of both of my sporterized m1917's that I load for:

BSA model E factory sporterized m1917:
g1kYpwS.jpg
EkMymAJ.jpg

Custom Sporterized m1917:
RiXjYD0.jpg
OHS2XU1.jpg
The way each rifle shoots this load is surprisingly almost identical.

As for 30-06's, I had 6 of them at one time and I had a load that every one of them liked (sub moa for 5 shots). The idea is to load to the shortest chamber and shortest throat, so they feed reliably in every rifle. Sorry to get sidetracked on my methods and I appreciate your suggestion of using/trying H4350 in the 6.5 creedmoor. That is for sure one of my favorite powders. However, one thing I do like about Big Game powder, is you can just drop charges directly from the powder measure. My uni-flo meters that powder like water and it's exceptionally accurate from drop to drop. I know Pharm loves that powder in his 7mm08's and I can see it working great in the little creed. Like I said in an earlier post, I'm hovering right around 1 moa, which is never a bad thing.. With a little more development and I'm hoping to be a little under MOA. Starting from the baseline of around 1.5 moa to being right at MOA, is a good thing.
 
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bsa1917hunter

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Alright, so I established a great baseline and show you guys a small part of what I do to help accurize a rifle. Basically show some basics, with freefloat, then with proper bedding. All that helps, along with trigger adjustment or sometimes honing and polishing. I don't go into detail about scope mounts and rings and how important those are, but it's key to loctite everything down, so it's rock solid and secure with no chance of changing. A minute amount of scope slippage in the rings can cause inaccuracy and poi shift. I haven't even really got into load development, because I didn't want to add another variable to this evaluation and skew the results, so I used a good load I use in my Savage 12FV. Until i saw accuracy improvements, then i tried big game powder. In reality, I've brought this rifle from a 1.5+ MOA (for 10 shots) shooter down to a 1 moa shooter, with just a few tricks. Now, today, I started with load development since I know I have a rock solid platform to work off of. Here are the results and the load I am going to stick with for a while:
soCT57P.jpg

To confirm the load was not a fluke, I asked one of my good buddies to shoot my rifle. He's a pretty good rifle shooter and was also my partner when we were shooting Trap for money. Here's how he did with that same load:
KMQWYuC.jpg

Like I told ersIII, I love H4350 and it is common place to use it in the creed. They go together like peanut butter and jelly. With that being said, I'll probably still use Big game powder and may even mess around with further load work with that powder and BR2 primers. Oh, by the way, after shooting today, my buddy and I proceeded to drive to Cabela's, where he picked up his own 6.5 creedmoor Tikka superlite :D . I'll let you guys know how this Tikka does with this load and 10 shot groups, next weekend. I'll almost guarantee it goes into sub moa territory...:cool:
 
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bsa1917hunter

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Come at me, bro!

Maybe you shoulda bought a 7 Rem Mag!

View attachment 542770

I can do this all day.




P
3 shot groups are easy like that. Im still waiting for your participation in the moa all day long thread, over at the other place. You'd have to shoot some 10 shot groups though. We have 17,000 views from guys like you, but only 7 shooters with sub moa targets. If you want to join in, i highly recommend it. No tape over any of the bullet holes though. ;)
 
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3 shot groups are easy like that. Im still waiting for your participation in the moa all day long thread, over at the other place. You'd have to shoot some 10 shot groups though. We have 17,000 views from guys like you, but only 7 shooters with sub moa targets. If you want to join in, i highly recommend it. No tape over any of the bullet holes though. ;)
All my targets are 17 shot groups.

Prove me wrong!
 
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bsa1917hunter

bsa1917hunter

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Update on Tikka's progress. Todays target:
7MPaajV.jpg

The rifle is getting so close to moa I can't stand it... :D Still not shooting as good as any of my Savages, but it's getting there. Slowly but surely. A pic of a 10 shot group from my Savage predator today:
tjU2tqT.jpg

I still need to work up a load for this damn rifle. Still using my AR15 Northtech Defense load. :oops: I imagine the Predator will shoot 1/2 moa with a little load development. We'll see when we get more time...
 

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